Interviewee: Al Cotton
Interviewer: Cal Gough, with Randall Cumbaa
Date of Interview: August 7, 2015
Extent: mp3 audio file; mp4 video file
Al Cotton was born in Cullman, Ala., and grew up in various towns in Alabama. He attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala. Cotton came out as gay after moving to Atlanta at age 26. He identifies as a Buddhist and is an active member of the Atlanta Shambhala Center.
In this interview, Al Cotton briefly discusses his early life in Alabama, then talks about moving to Atlanta in 1983. He describes his early involvement with what became the Southern Voice newspaper, and with SAME (Southeastern Arts and Media Education Project). Cotton talks about the evolution of his spiritual awareness and practice, which eventually led him to join Gay Spirit Visions and later to become a Buddhist. He describes the ways in which his spirituality has interacted with his recovery from alcoholism and his sobriety. Cotton shares memories of GSV conferences and other GSV members, and he talks about participating in the Body Electric erotic-spiritual workshops.
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